Leading Silks

Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexA very senior silk and second to none in commodities, he demands his opponents' A game.
Robert Bright QC7 King’s Bench WalkHe is extremely clever, very insightful and identifies the good points with an eloquent and very thoughtful manner.
Michael Collett QC - Twenty EssexVery thorough, he has a 360-degree knowledge of how everything fits together in the commodities world.
Simon Rainey QC - Quadrant ChambersAn excellent advocate - sharp and effective, and always such a pleasure to work with.
Richard Southern QC7 King’s Bench WalkVery smart and analytical, he is also quick and responsive, and very pleasant to work with.
Timothy Young QC - Twenty EssexHeavily involved in commodities disputes, he never misses a point and is a tenacious and highly persuasive advocate.
Simon Croall QC - Quadrant ChambersOne of the most creative and intellectually formidable QCs at the commercial Bar.
Siobán Healy QC7 King’s Bench WalkA delight to work with, she shows technical brilliance and a real eye for the right strategic moves.
Chirag Karia QC - Quadrant ChambersCommercial, pragmatic and user-friendly, he knows the commodities sector inside and out, and is excellent on feet and ferocious in cross-examination.
Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexHe has a great ability to put across difficult legal concepts in simple terms and is very good in arguing tight corners.
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexHe knows the area inside out, is extremely user-friendly and brings with him strategic brilliance and a formidable intellect.
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexA big game player, he is incredibly effective on his feet, with an imposing presence - there is no better cross-examiner at the Bar.
Sean O’Sullivan QC - 4 Pump CourtResponsive, accessible and available, collaborative and practical, he has a keen understanding of the bigger picture and is able to craft solutions accordingly.
John Russell QC - Quadrant ChambersVery straightforward and persuasive, he is a fantastic advocate with great style, who is calm and very capable on his feet.
Alistair Schaff QC7 King’s Bench WalkIndustrious and helpful, he is extremely bright and is very good at testing arguments put by opponents.
Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the leading QCs in the fields of shipping and commodities, he is very strong analytically and an incisive and persuasive advocate.
Philip Edey QCTwenty EssexA fierce advocate and a fantastic team player, he is a quick thinker and instinctively reads the courtroom very well.
Peter MacDonald Eggers QC7 King’s Bench WalkA quite remarkable silk who is hugely knowledgeable and immensely able yet manages to retain an affability and approachability.
Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexHe is very commercial, very quick to understand the client’s perspective, and has a good grasp of technical issues.
Stephen Kenny QC7 King’s Bench WalkA very likeable and exceptionally able barrister who is clever and inventive, and who plays with a very straight bat.
Luke Parsons QC - Quadrant ChambersHis clean and precise approach in court leaves nothing to be desired.
David Allen QC7 King’s Bench WalkA straight-talking and formidable QC, highly effective at cross-examination and oral advocacy.
Michael Coburn QC - Twenty EssexCalm, considered, patient and very thorough on the law, he gives realistic advice.
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersA formidable opponent and a particularly robust cross-examiner.
Dominic Kendrick QC7 King’s Bench WalkHe spots that extra argument or points no one else has, and he has an understated yet steely approach which is very effective in court.
Yash Kulkarni QC - Quadrant ChambersVery client-friendly and always remaining calm, he is able to think on his feet and deal with the most difficult clients with charm.
Sara Masters QC - Twenty EssexShe has a great ability to grasp detail very quickly and explain things in simple and commercial terms to clients.
Michael Nolan QC - Quadrant ChambersHe has such vast experience and depth of legal knowledge that you feel you are always learning from him.
Fionn Pilbrow QC - Brick Court ChambersConfident, articulate and very bright, he has extensive knowledge of the law in this area. The man you want when you're in a pickle.
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersA robust and very personable advocate.
Vasanti Selvaratnam QC - The 36 GroupA first-rate mind, able to focus on what is important and to work as part of a team.
Lawrence Akka QC - Twenty EssexVery accessible, calm and unflappable, he offers creative solutions.
Guy Blackwood QC - Quadrant ChambersA top-class legal brain combined with an unbelievable ability to assimilate the facts of a case.
Nicholas Craig QC - 3 Verulam BuildingsHe has excellent judgment and is extremely smart, very easy to work and a terrific advocate.
Christopher Hancock QC - Twenty EssexA veteran in shipping and commodities cases who works well as counsel or arbitrator.
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersVery hands-on and approachable, she is a source of commercial and pragmatic advice.
Julian Kenny QC - Twenty EssexA top-drawer silk who is very clever with a great sense of humour – a lethal combination.
Jawdat Khurshid QC7 King’s Bench WalkExceptionally bright, responsive and wholly unflappable, he punches well above his weight against more senior silks.
Thomas Macey-Dare QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is excellent at explaining difficult matters and concepts in simple terms to both solicitors and clients.
Jern-Fei Ng QC - 7BRBright, energetic and responsive, he is a first-choice counsel for Chinese and South East Asian clients.

2020 Silks

Stewart Buckingham QC - Quadrant ChambersHe is very pragmatic and cuts through issues to address what really matters with an easy-going, logical style of cross-examination.
Henry Byam-Cook QC - Twenty EssexA very able silk with meticulous attention to detail, unrivalled knowledge of the law and a commercial attitude to advice.
Philip Riches QC - Twenty EssexHis advocacy is clear and concise, and he will consider all avenues.

2021 Silks

Adam Kramer QC - 3 Verulam BuildingsA great team player, who is always prepared to get his hands dirty and help out. He is refreshingly straight-forward and fuss-free in his approach.

Leading Juniors

Daniel Bovensiepen - Twenty EssexA great mathematical brain, he is a junior at the very top of his game and his written work is absolutely top-notch.
Oliver Caplin - Twenty EssexA senior junior that is more than capable of mixing it with silks, he is calm, affable, extremely responsive, strategically astute and a true specialist in the area.
Charles Debattista - The 36 GroupWise, experienced and approachable, he is a very good barrister and arbitrator and a justifiably popular and respected figure.
Sandra Healy7 King’s Bench WalkResponsive, diligent, smart, she is very collaborative and really enthusiastic about her cases.
Richard Sarll7 King’s Bench WalkVery diligent, thorough and hardworking, he is a mature and strong tactician with excellent client skills.
Jessica Sutherland7 King’s Bench WalkShe is intelligent and offers careful analysis of the contractual terms and the facts.
Ravi Aswani - The 36 GroupVery responsive, user-friendly and adaptable, he is also bright, creative and to the point.
Clara Benn7 King’s Bench WalkExceptionally bright, she is a perfectionist who keeps on thinking and thinking about a knotty point until the answer is reached.
Benjamin Coffer - Quadrant ChambersHe has an ability to cut straight to the point in clear terms and provides sound advice from both a legal and tactical perspective.
Ben Gardner - Quadrant ChambersDown to earth and easy to work with, he gets fully immersed in the details without losing sight of the bigger picture commercially.
Colleen Hanley - Twenty EssexBright, responsive, and thorough in her consideration of the relevant legal issues, she has a warm and reassuring presence in front of clients.
Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexEasy to work with and very commercial, he is clued up on jurisdictional matters.
Mark Jones - The 36 GroupHe delivers top-notch advices in maritime and commodities disputes and he has an ability to grasp the crux of the issue at stake.
Susannah Jones - Twenty EssexA first-class senior junior, she is very thorough and provides outstandingly clear analysis.
Simon Milnes - Twenty EssexHe is a gift to the profession, a great counsel, quick to identify and comprehend the issues and mechanisms however intricate and technical.
Angharad Parry - Twenty EssexTechnically brilliant with a real eye for detail, she has an uncanny ability to unravel the most complex legal issues with surprising ease.
Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexHe is excellent when it comes to commodities work and he is an excellent technical lawyer who produces well-reasoned and comprehensive opinions.
Charles Priday7 King’s Bench WalkIncisive and very persuasive, he has phenomenal attention to detail and expresses himself with real clarity.
Paul Toms - Quadrant ChambersHe is very responsive and user-friendly, providing excellent legal analysis.
David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersHis written work is very precise and very clear, measured and reasonable.
Koye Akoni - Quadrant ChambersHardworking and pleasant to deal with, he is exceptionally strong in grasping the legal points in a case and providing timely, commercial advice.
Sushma Ananda7 King’s Bench WalkShe cuts to the key points very quickly and knows the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s position inside-out.
Tom Bird - Quadrant ChambersHe is clearly an excellent lawyer, but more importantly he is collaborative, patient and utterly unflappable.
Adam Board - Essex Court ChambersA very sharp and a clear thinker, he is skilled and confident in drafting and providing tactical and procedural advice.
Thomas Corby - Twenty EssexExtremely diligent, thorough, knowledgeable and strategic, he provides an excellent service to his instructing solicitors.
Max Davidson - Quadrant ChambersConfident, eloquent, hard working and good on his feet, he the ability to grasp highly complicated matters with ease.
Josephine Davies - Twenty EssexShe brings a rare combination of science and art, no one can beat her on detail and her style of advocacy is calm and precise.
Andrew Dinsmore - Twenty EssexA tenacious advocate with a very good eye for detail who offers proactive and practical comment and advice.
Henry Ellis - Quadrant ChambersHe is very thorough and is able to come up with arguments that are easy to understand and accept, even when they are quite creative.
Paul Henton - Quadrant ChambersHe is very approachable, very knowledgeable and prompt.
Marcus Mander7 King’s Bench WalkUser-friendly, clever and good tactically, he is also very commercial.
Sean Snook - Twenty EssexAn extremely strong junior to watch, he is experienced in both in court and in arbitration.
Peter Stevenson - Quadrant ChambersA real superstar, he is highly intelligent and a forensic advocate - someone you really want on your side.

Commodities in London Bar

Twenty Essex

Twenty Essex has ‘a huge concentration of expertise and familiarity with commodities associations, as well as deep and long-standing expertise in an area in which you cannot dabble’. It is widely regarded as the leading set across the full spectrum of commodities cases, including areas of growing importance such as commodities fraud and cryptoasset trading. Leading junior Angharad Parry was also involved in a novel case, having obtained the first reported worldwide freezing order granted by an English court in relation to a Scottish limited partnership. Among its members are some of the leading names in shipping, commodities and international trade, notably Timothy Young QC and Michael Ashcroft QC, the latter having handled a major off-specification fuel oil dispute in Commercial Court. Michael Collett QC and outstanding junior Oliver Caplin recently were recently involved in MT “Tenacity” – Tenacity Marine Inc v NOC Swiss LLC, which concerned the alleged misdelivery of cargo without presentation of bills of lading following the insolvency of Gulf Petroleum.

Testimonials

Set

‘Twenty Essex is my go-to set for commodities work. They have a great range of counsel at differing levels of seniority. The clerks are friendly, proactive and approachable. They are willing to be flexible on rates when appropriate.’

‘It has excellent strength in depth and always has someone available at the requested level of call and quality.’

‘Easy to work with and methodical.’

‘A very good set with some market-leading silks.’

‘Twenty Essex is my go-to commercial set in London. I think it has great strength in depth and provides top-quality service at prices which are acceptable. I have always felt that I am putting my clients in very good hands.’

Clerks

‘All have been patient, understanding and proactive.’

‘The clerking is reliable, with no need to chase for updates, quotes or communications with the court.’

‘Twenty Essex’s clerks  provide great support. I never have to quibble over a brief. Discussions are frank and fair and for one-off advice work, the turnaround times and pricing are good.’

‘Anthony Carroll in particular is very responsive, commercial and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘A very good team – I think Chris Theobald is one of the best.’

7 King's Bench Walk

7 King’s Bench Walk is ‘one of the pre-eminent sets for shipping and commodities with very good strength in depth across the board’. Featuring many esteemed commodities silks and a large roster of talented juniors, it is best-known for its work in the areas of law where commodities, shipping and insurance intersect. It frequently handles matters concerning cargo damage, cargo theft, bill of lading fraud, and breach of obligations under contracts of international sale and purchase, often on behalf of the world’s leading commodities trading houses. Robert Bright QC recently handled a $3m claim concerning off-specification fuel oil in Septo v Tintrade. Siobán Healy QC’s caseload included matters relating to cocoa quality, London Metals Exchange rules relating to importation of metals into India, and the alleged deliberate dilution of premium fruit juices. Leading junior Richard Sarll led the defence in Gemcorp v Petrocas, which concerned a contract for sale and purchase of a consignment of fuel oil, to be loaded at a port in Russia.

Testimonials

Set

‘Very strong in shipping, trade and insurance. Top-tier and one of the go-to sets.’

‘One of the pre-eminent sets for shipping and commodities. Very good strength in depth across the board.’

‘They are very active in the industry. Very established and old school but they are adapting to the modern changes. One of the leading sets in this area.’

‘A set of outstanding individuals with great strength in depth and all very personable.’

‘7 KBW offers great strength in depth of commodities expertise with no fewer than 54 barristers including 26 QCs who specialise in this practice area.  Commodities work necessarily overlaps with shipping (all the contracts involved in getting commodities from one part of the world to another, usually on a ship, sometimes on an aeroplane or via a pipeline) and insurance (all possible risks relating to the above and also the risk of non-payment or non-delivery of the goods in question).  7KBW offers unrivalled expertise also in these related areas and so is able to offer advice across the whole range/package of disputes.’

Clerks

‘Bernie Hyatt is fantastic, flexible and approachable.’

‘Always respond urgently to requests for assistance and are prepared to be commercial when required on fees.’

‘Gary Rose is always great to work with and finds you the right person for a specific task. The clerks are all very approachable and always try to find a solution.’

‘7KBW’s clerks are top-notch and they always respond to our emails quickly and helpfully. Joe Clayton is our go-to contact.’

‘The clerks are excellent.  Eddie Johns especially – always prompt and willing to be flexible on fees.’

Quadrant Chambers

Quadrant Chambers is ‘an excellent set for commodities trading, trade finance and shipping matters’ and clients praise the ‘responsive, down to earth counsel and clerks who deliver a first-class service with a personal touch’. The set’s commodities practice handles litigation and arbitration concerning international sale contract disputes, and its members have extensive experience in acting for buyers, sellers and other interested parties in disputes in the courts of England and Wales and in international arbitration, including under the rules of arbitral institutions such as the LCIA or the ICC, and in connection with trade association arbitrations such as GAFTA, FOSFA and the RSA. The ‘sharp and effectiveSimon Rainey QC is a leading light in cases concerning international trade and commodities, including oil trading, metals and softs. Stewart Buckingham QC, who took silk in 2020 having been among the leading juniors in this area, and the ‘very user-friendlyBenjamin Coffer also have stellar reputations in commodities cases.

Testimonials

Set

‘Our go to shipping chambers with strength across the board from the most junior to the most senior counsel. Responsive, down to earth counsel and clerks who deliver a first-class service with a personal touch.’

‘In our experience, Quadrant continues to be a leading commercial set with a great depth of expertise from junior counsel to the level of silk. Quadrant Chambers and its members generally are readily available when needed, and are adept at advising on urgent matters as required.’

‘The best shipping and commodities set bar none.’

‘Quadrant is undoubtedly a very strong set of chambers, with an array of top-quality barristers at all levels. Quadrant has pushed more than any set I think to promote its knowhow during the pandemic with Quadcasts (as they have termed them) and very regular seminars.’

‘Quadrant is one of my two go-to sets in the fields of commodities and shipping. They have size, depth and always seem to be promoting various aspects of their knowhow.’

Clerks

‘The clerks are very personable, responsive and reliable.’

‘Quadrant Chambers’ clerks are responsive, professional, polite and attentive and, above all, helpful.’

‘Daniel Westerman and Paul Bloxham are extremely helpful and always reliable to assist when called upon.’

‘Generally good. Daniel Westerman, John Walker and Billy Beckett very helpful and responsive. Gary Ventura runs an excellent team.’

‘The clerks in this set are brilliant. They are responsive and are always able to come up with solutions if any issues arise as to counsels’ availability. They also appear to have very good relations with the Court which is helpful. We have worked closely with Daniel Westerman in particular, who has gone above and beyond to ensure that clients’ needs are met and there is clear communication with the barristers.’

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is ‘very strong, particularly at the senior end, and it has incredible pedigree in commodities and shipping work with a host of names you would want to turn to for high-value, heavy and contentious disputes’. The set has a long track record of involvement in shipping, shipbuilding and commodities cases, with particular expertise in wet and dry shipping, as well as high-value fraud cases touching on those issues. Nigel Eaton QC is among the set’s standout silks and he recently includes high-value international commodities arbitrations and matters concerning ore and oil shipments. David Walsh is a prominent junior in this area of law, and he frequently assists for major trading houses with pricing disputes concerning energy commodities. He recently acted as sole counsel in a $15m claim against commodity insurers following a fire at a warehouse in Zambia.

Testimonials

Set

‘Very strong chambers, particularly at the senior end. Probably the strongest set for QCs specialising in commodities.’

‘A very strong set that understands client service for top-end commercial disputes and gets it right.’

‘Essex Court Chambers has excellent counsel and there are always a number of strong candidates to choose from.’

‘Essex Court Chambers has incredible pedigree in commodities and shipping work with a host of names you would want to turn to for high-value, heavy and contentious disputes.’

Clerking

‘Refreshingly clear and straightforward.’

‘The clerks are helpful and seem to provide a good service.’

‘The clerks are very good, efficient and professional.’

‘Generally good. Ollie Butcher is very responsive.’

‘The clerks are among the best in the business. Jack Wood always goes the extra mile.’

The 36 Group

The set is simply breathtaking’, says a client of The 36 Group. Another remarks that it has ‘reasonable depth and generally good availability of their barristers’. The set specialises in commodities, shipping and international trade, and its members are highly adept in contractual matters such as bills of lading, contracts of affreightment and commodities transactions in the context of shipping. Members advise on matters in the civil and criminal courts, arbitrations, inquiries and at other tribunals, both in the UK and overseas in matters concerning metals, petroleum products, grain and foodstuffs. Joint head of chambers Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, whose recent work includes matters concerning shipments of silicon carbide and bauxite, is known for the speed of her analysis and her practical approach to complex matters. Among the set’s standout juniors are Ravi Aswani, who has extensive knowledge of arbitration under the rules of numerous specialist trade bodies, and Charles Debattista, who is notable for his Maltese connections.